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Everything posted by Fez

  1. Decided to finally do some PC upgrades; went from a 1070TI to a 4070TI. Though I don't really have any games to test it out right now, the games I've been playing recently are all indie. But it was good to future proof for some of the games coming later this year.
  2. I believe the distinction is that it's not your money. Anyone can invest their own money in anything, including a green energy ETF or whatever. But traditional retirement funds are what you invest in if you what you care about is maximizing your investment. And for a long time the managers of such funds were required to maximize returns to their best ability; a rules which was originally in place to prevent managers from basically just directing funds to things they had their own stake in. Now the Feds have passed a rule saying fund managers can also consider ESG factors when investing peoples' funds, and Republicans are big mad. Personally, I still think its bullshit. If someone doesn't want their money going into ESG investing they could always find a fund that explicitly promises not to do it. That's what the free market is all about after all. But it isn't quite as cut-and-dry as blocking people from spending their own money how they want; Republicans want to block how fund managers are using other people's money.
  3. Fun looking horror comedy. Although another movie, a la 'Edge of Tomorrow' and 'Live. Die. Repeat', where the tagline looks better than the title.
  4. WaPo has some additional details, though doesn't list the primary sources. But does give more context as to why the Energy Department was doing it: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/02/27/little-known-scientific-team-behind-new-assessment-covid-19-origins/
  5. DOE runs one of the US' national lab systems. And those labs aren't just energy related: https://www.energy.gov/national-laboratories I assume they were asked to look into this because of their presumed experience with lab safety protools.
  6. I'll admit I don't know your posting history, so perhaps it was an unfair comment towards you. However, if you scan the likes of Twitter, you'll see that in 2020 there were an awful lot of blue check marked scientists who were immediately dismissing the lab leak as a racist conspiracy theory. Which led to media orgs doing the same and actions like Facebook outright banning discussion of it. I'll freely admit that some of the people pushing the lab theory in 2020 did have racist intentions, especially the ones claiming it was intentional rather than an accident. But that doesn't mean the underlying idea was racist. And, with federal agencies now being decidedly mixed on the issue, I think it has to be accepted as a plausible alternate theory; rather than dismissed as the province of cranks.
  7. I really disliked FO4 myself, so I don't remember. I agree that it can get old fast if the '50s aesthetic is too prominent. Which is one of the reasons I thought New Vegas was the best of the 3D Fallout games. Sure the strip was all-in on it, but the NCR and Caesar's Legion were completely different vibes. I really appreciated the effort to show what a post-post-apocalyptic society going through a full rebuild might look like; as opposed to everyone just living in '50s rubble the way FO3 and FO4 are.
  8. I didn't say it was a lab leak, I'm saying it's plausible it was a lab leak. Which you, and plenty of other people, seem to be in denial about because so much energy was invested in 2020 in saying that the idea was racist.
  9. Nah. I'm thinking the lab leak theory is perfectly plausible at this point and some people just don't want to admit it because it was generally crazy Republicans who were the first to talk about it.
  10. Totally fair if the aesthetic doesn't work for you. The series does (mostly) justify it though. The first big point of divergence between our timeline and the Fallout timeline (though there are a few minor ones before this) is that the transistor was never invented until the 2060s. This meant that technology remained stuck at the analog level and never developed past that, except in odd bursts of ways that didn't involve digital computing. Granted, that doesn't really explain why fashion never changed either (there's some mentions that technological stagnation led to societal stagnation, which I don't really buy); but at the end of the day it's all just because the original game's developers wanted to satirize the 1950s vision of the future.
  11. Forget Atlanta. It's going to hit 80 here in the NoVA suburbs of DC. Which is insane for February. Also, the high yesterday was about 50 and the high tomorrow will only be 56 (with a low back down to 31 tomorrow night). A truly bizarre one day spike that will likely set the new record here.
  12. I was reading the other day there already is a chatAI that does this, it's just not as well-known or advanced as Bing or ChatGPT. Replika. It was designed as romance-able chatbot that you could get to engage in some really NSFW sexting with. But there were some issues/complaints around that (not sure of the details), and for some reason where things ended up is that the chatbot would reject any sexual advances users tried. Apparently those rejections could get hurtful too, including telling people to go kill themselves. I imagine that a lot of people trying to use a romance chatbot may be quite lonely already, and getting rejected by a thing that was originally designed to not ever reject you could be quite the blow. If the programmers weren't happy with how it turned out, the responsible thing to do would've been to shut it down instead.
  13. To play devil's advocate: Consider a case where the police believe that a boyfriend murdered his girlfriend, and they think the motive is that he found out she was pregnant and he didn't want to deal with it (absolutely a situation that has sadly occurred). Having data showing that the girlfriend knew she was pregnant would help with proving that cases.
  14. Oh a ballon is definitely getting painted on that plane. Not only is it the first ever air-to-air kill for an F22, it's the first US air-to-air kill since 2017 and only the second since 1999. And I believe it's the first ever air-to-air kill over the lower 48 US land/territorial waters.
  15. If it's like their past games, neither. Their past games have been 100% real time, though with ultra-fast quick save and quick load (and a little clock that starts ticking at the top of your screen if it's been more than a minute since you last saved). It's about trying over and over quickly until accomplish things. Although, if you aren't actively being hunted and your characters are all hidden the game is effectively paused since you'll be completely safe until you start doing things. And there is a mode where you can plan out actions before anything happens, and then everyone acts at once. So there are ways to get a breather and think things through.
  16. I've only played Disgaea 5, so I can't compare to the whole franchise. But my experience in that game was that the caricatures are cheesy fun. The game knows they're goofy and rolls with it. That's not FE: Engage. There's very little cheese factor. But it's actually hard to put into words what's wrong with it. Because on paper it could sound like a relatively generic shonen story (which TBH I also wouldn't be thrilled with, but would be managable). And it is a generic shonen story, just very poorly done. The worldbuilding is lazy, the characters are cutscene-incompetent, the dialog is dull, the plot is generic, the tropes picked are extremely overused (e.g., I can't believe its yet another player character with amnesia), etc. And I think I'm more upset than usual because the gameplay is just so good. I wish it wasn't let down as badly as it is. The one kind of interesting idea the game has is that the player character has a full personality and that personality is being kind of cowardly, which is a neat change of pace from the power fantasy these games usually are right from the get-go. But it also makes them rather annoying in cutscenes (and even more incompetent-seeming). Assuming they overcome that during the game, that's cool that there's a proper character arc. I just wish it was more fun.
  17. It is common, and why I've soured on so many JRPGs over the years. But FE: Engage is so much worse. Because it's not even that the tropes are present, it's that they're all so poorly done too. Everything about the dialog, world building, characterization, etc. is a complete afterthought. But at the same time a lot of the cutscenes are endlessly long. And, from some spending some time online, it looks like it's not just me; I've seen a bunch of people saying this is among the worst writing a Fire Emblem game has ever had. Still, the gameplay is itself is really strong. And visually it looks great too; though some of the character designs are weak. Especially the casual/out of combat outfits, which are a bizarre mishmash.
  18. I've played about 4 hours of Fire Emblem: Engage. It's a real study in contrasts. The gameplay feels fantastic, I can already tell its some of the tightest tactical design I've seen in a long while. And there's a solid variety of unit customization available I can tell already. However, the writing is awful. The cringe-iest, most overdone anime tropes possible, and not in a fun/cheesy way; its just bad. I haven't started skipping cutscenes yet, but I'm close. Right now I'm at the point of half-listening while I do stuff on my phone.
  19. I was thinking it might actually be a QAnon thing. There was that whole thing about them gathering in Dallas in November 2021 because they thought JFK Jr was going to reveal himself to be alive or something. I don't really understand the details, but maybe the idea of someone time traveling to save JFK's life interferes with their prophecies?
  20. Not relevant anymore, but interesting news about the early months of the war: Apparently in March and April of 2022, Bulgaria secretly provided Ukraine with 1/3 of its ammo and 40% of its diesel fuel. They used intermediary companies and the government denied everything because Bulgaria's domestic politics were too pro-Russian. But its entirely possible Ukraine might've lost the war waiting for western supply lines to get set up if not for Bulgaria.
  21. Several years ago now there was a UN projection that Nigeria would reach 1 billion people by 2100, and that actually all of sub-Saharan have a population growth explosion. If that's still the case, and if India is supposed to keep growing (which I think it is), I would think the world population keeps growing for a while longer than that. Assuming catastrophic climate change is held off.
  22. Always sucks when layoffs hit. I'm not surprised by 343 though, they've mismanaged Halo for a long time now. And, even independently of Microsoft having company wide layoffs, I wouldn't have been surprised to see something happen there and Halo was passed along to another studio. Bethesda is a surprise, but since it's the only other studio mentioned I wonder if it's primarily redundant positions leftover from pre-acquisition that the smaller studios don't have (e.g., HR). The kind of employees that would've been reassigned elsewhere in the company if the economy was doing better but instead are losing their jobs two weeks into the new year. I suspect this more due to the wider tech slowdown rather than anything gaming specific; and these layoffs are the same kinds of things Apple, Amazon, etc. have been doing recently. In which case hopefully this doesn't herald the start of anything across the gaming industry, and that companies only operating in that space are insulated.
  23. I actually find combat in 5E to be too-streamlined and quick-paced. There's usually only a couple good options for any character to do, and the concentration mechanic dramatically decreases the likelihood of spellcasters doing unique and fun things (e.g,, in my current campaign as a sorcerer, my best option almost always is to twin-cast Haste on our two front-liners and then stand back tossing fireballs). And the way the action economy works, most combat encounters as-written seem to usually be total pushovers unless the DM soups them up; either adding extra enemies or creating new legendary actions for bosses. I've never played Pathfinder 1E on the tabletop, but based on my experiences with the Owlcat video games (which I adore), it kinda seems like tracking everything would be a nightmare without a computer doing the heavy lifting. So I don't necessarily want that. But it would be nice to have more crunch than what D&D 5E offers.
  24. I'm reserving judgment for now. I didn't especially chuckle to the trailer. But there's a ton of talent here, and I'll watch just on the off-chance that Brooks himself shows up in the episodes.
  25. I assumed the money flowed the opposite direction in that relationship, with WOTC paying CR as a sponsor of the show. Although maybe those ads are just deducted from the cost of what CR owes WOTC. I dunno. But either way I imagine a lot of money's at stake there, and CR is very tied up in D&D. I wonder how what percentage of fans, of CR or D&D as a whole, actually know about all this yet. Because there's a long history of D&D fans dropping off actual play shows that try transitioning to other systems. So jumping ship would not be a decision to take light lightly for CR.
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